This week is National Dog Bite Prevention week, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the United States Postal Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are each working to educate Americans about dog bite prevention. Each year about 4.7 million humans are bitten by dogs, particularly children, the elderly, and Postal Service carriers. Dog bite victims account for up to five percent of emergency room visits. Experts believe that public education can help prevent these bites from happening.
Archive for May, 2008|Monthly archive page
Well, not really breaking news. But a good Thursday morning diversion involving a dog, a cat, and a rat. And a guy that compares himself to both the pet whisperer and Van Gogh.
We all know that microchipping and collars are the best way to help a lost pet find his way home, but to one family in Japan, it’s their diligent training that’s paid off. Mr. Yosuke Nakamura told vets his name and address when he finally found his way into animal control. The vets were able to contact his family, who told the the vets that he had been missing, and a happy reunion occurred.
Of course, Mr. Yosuke Nakamura is an African Grey Parrot, not your average dog or cat. African Greys are known for their intelligence and ability to learn—the Nakamuras had been teaching Yosuke his name and address for the past two years. Scientists say that with the right training, these able-minded birds can achieve the intelligence of a five-year-old.
It does make me wonder; if dogs and cats could talk, what would they say?
The American Humane Association (AHA) is urging animal lovers to sign a petition asking their senators to support the Tracking Animal Cruelty Crimes Act of 2007, a measure that is intended to increase the importance of regulating animal cruelty and to ensure that it is treated as a serious crime. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and would require the FBI to add animal cruelty as a separate category in its crime data reporting system. The AHA has a goal of 20,000 signatures. Go here to sign the petition.
A videotape of Angelina Jolie from 1999 has emerged in which she describes how she killed her childhood pets. It seems Jolie died a mouse blue—which caused it to die, took a hamster into the shower with her—which caused it to catch pneumonia and die, and left a pet lizard out in the sun—which caused it to overheat and die.
Meanwhile troubled British singer Amy Winehouse has shown up in a video playing with one-day-old baby mice and pleading husband Pet Doherty not to leave her. If you want to watch the creepy video, you can do so here.
I guess both of these stories made me wonder: just what are celebrities thinking about when they do these not-very-wise things? Why would someone treat animals so cruelly and then talk about it on camera (Jolie) or actually mistreat them on camera (Winehouse)?
It isn’t only people that are feeling the effects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis; unfortunately, our pets are also suffering. As people lose houses and condos, they often lose their pets, too, since many apartments do not allow pets. I’m in frequent contact with shelters across the country, and I keep hearing heartbreaking stories about people being forced to leave their pets at shelters due to economic reasons.
As much as we love our pets, it can be staggering how much it costs to keep them happy and healthy (just yesterday my parents found out that their cat, Seth Elliot, needs $700 in dental care!). I read these helpful hints on how to cut costs while still giving Fluffy and Fido all the love and attention they need and though they were worth passing along:
1) Keep a list of what you actually need versus what you want (kibble is more important than a rhinestone collar).
2) Look for online sales.
3) Check dollar stores for discount pet toys.
4) Be proactive about your pet’s health (Mom and Dad—if only you’d brushed Seth’s teeth every once in a while…)
5) Groom as home when possible instead of going to the groomer
Every other day it seems a new study comes out linking everyday products to cancer or other diseases. A new California study presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in London found a pesticide chemical that may trigger autism. It’s called pyrenthrin and it’s found in many household products, from bug killers (what you’d expect), to…wait for it… pet shampoo.
The study asked mothers of more than 500 young children (some with autism) to report products they remembered using from a few months before conception until their child turned 1. The mothers of the 138 autistic children were twice as likely to report using products that contain pyrenthrins, like pet shampoos.
Before you toss out all your pet’s shampoo and let Fido roam dirty, know that the study is just speculation and it’s hard to narrow down which genetic and environmental factors contribute to autism. Scientists will continue to study potential causes.